Anxiety

What do you tend to worry about?

Tell me “nothing” and I won’t believe you.

Anyway, that’s my line.  For years I’ve told people, legitimately, that I’m not a worrier. I HATE fear. You can wake up any of my adult children at 3:00 in the morning (assuming they’re asleep) and say, “Complete this sentence: ‘We don’t make decisions…’”

They’ll reply, “based on fear,” roll over and go back to sleep.

We’ve hammered that into them, and I love to see them living that out in fearful times like these.

That said… well… true confession coming…

I do that sometimes.

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mobbing

Have you ever fantasized about growing wings and flying away to escape the unending stress or tension?

Have you found yourself wishing recently that you could manage to make it through one day without hearing a barrage of angry or critical words or feeling like you must be the only one in the crowd who just doesn’t “get it” (whatever “it” is)?

Have you been avoiding trips to the doctor under the guise that no news is good news, even though you know you’re not as energetic as you used to be?

What’s your latest reminder that the next time the bell tolls – even randomly – your number may be up?

Have you been channel surfing lately for “I Love Lucy” or “Andy Griffith” reruns, just so your TV can remember what it’s like not to hear about another reason to be afraid or another example of urban violence?

Oh, and what’s the latest on the scandal? You know… the same ol’ same ol’ about the latest hero or public figure headed to court or the hall of public shame because they just weren’t who we thought they were?

Are you tired of being lied to by your so-called leaders and oppressed by those in charge?

Are you still reeling from the betrayal of a friend or bitter because someone you trusted and needed abused that trust?

Are you angry enough to hurt somebody yourself?  Do people keep asking you what’s the matter and you keep pretending you’re just tired or something stupid like that?

What if I were to tell you that everything I just described didn’t come from CNN or Fox News, but from an ancient poem – a psalm from the Bible?  (Well, there are no “I Love Lucy” or “Andy Griffith” reruns or TVs in the Bible, but pretty much everything else is there.) [click to continue…]








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Albtraum

You’re carrying burdens and living with anxieties that aren’t yours to carry.

You are trying to be the answer to your fears of pain, poverty and shame, when those are God’s issues to resolve.

He promised to be your refuge and strength, but you have to trust Him to do it.

That’s why He wants you to live in gratitude. [click to continue…]








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Carrying Weight 2

Chances are, you have no idea.

A couple of weeks ago we were packing for a week at Disney.

No, professional movers or U-Haul were not involved.

Anyway, when Robin got everything loaded into three suitcases that a near-grown human could fit into, she asked me to weigh the luggage to make sure she had thought of everything.

Um, I mean, to make sure it fit within airline regulations.

We have this handy little scale that picks up the suitcase by the handle and lets you know what you’re asking those baggage handlers to tote ‘n’ hurl. I picked up the first.

“Forty pounds,” says I.

“See what that feels like?” says my ever-wise wife. “That’s what you’re no longer carrying around.”

I should point out here that in the last five months I’ve lost about that much weight. And that little luggage exercise was enlightening.

I picked it up again, holding the scale and entire weight of the suitcase in one hand. That was what I had been carrying around, day-in, day-out, but had now shed. Needless to say, it made an impression.

I was impressed how ordinary and normal my extra “baggage” was. How easy it was to justify myself, despite the fact that 20 years ago I weighed about 60 pounds less. And how much I was presuming upon my created-by-God body to do in overtime.

I just didn’t realize how much weight I was carrying. [click to continue…]








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Rainstorm Prayer

Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7, NET).

It’s one thing to be prayerless and anxious.

You can pray, though, and still be anxious. [click to continue…]








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Emilie was jealous. Eyes open, staring at the dark ceiling night after night, jealous.

And the focus? Her husband, Chris.

She was jealous of how he could carry an enormous load of stress from his work, simply say a prayer or two at bedtime, and effortlessly fall asleep.

Chris was actually 19th-century pastor Christoph Blumhardt.

One night Emilie couldn’t take it anymore, so she pleaded with her husband, “Tell me your secret!”

He replied: “Is God so powerless that my worrying would help the well-being of our parish?”

Then he added, “There comes a moment each day when we must simply drop what weighs on us and hand it over to God.”

That’s what Paul meant when he encouraged his friends in Philippi:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Stop, drop and roll, friends. That’s how to put out the fire when you’re burning. [click to continue…]








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You live in what feels like a constant state of tension. Even your “good stress” is, well, stress. You check the news at least each day to make sure you’re on top of the latest thing to worry about. Your time is stretched so thin that any interruption or change of plans sends you reeling emotionally.

Your credit cards are loaded to the max, and your life feels a lot like your email inbox – loaded with clutter, junk, and unfinished business – some of which is actually important.

Your best sleep comes after 2:00 in the morning. You avoid those medical checkups because you already know what they’re going to say. Unless, of course, you need to get that prescription refilled.

And then…

…then, somebody comes along, usually on a Sunday, and says…

“Let’s worship Jesus!”

And honestly, it just feels like another reason to feel anxious.

What if I were to tell you that if you’re harried and helpless, stressed out or fried emotionally, the Bible actually gets where you’re coming from? If I could show you a way to magnificently worship the Lord Jesus, even when you’re at the end of your rope, would you be interested?

This is an Offering for the Overworked, overstressed, overeating, over-fill-in-your-blank.

Ready? Here it is: [click to continue…]








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Here in My Heart

by Andy Wood on January 14, 2015

in Half-baked Ideas

Businessman playing with car and goes down

(Sort-of-random thoughts after an oddly-shaped holiday season, complete with the Princess and her seven miniature companions… oh, and that reminds me… a trip to Disney, along with other uncertainties of life.)

Nearly every New Year’s night during my growing up years, I would find myself howling at the moon or somebody because of the insanity that was the college football bowl setup.  Finally I have seen with my eyes what for years I had only seen in my dreams – a true semblance of a playoff.  My team didn’t win.  But it had a chance to compete, and that’s all anybody can ask for (unless you’re TCU, but I digress…).

Did you feel the earth rumble from all the photos taken at the Detroit auto show?  Have you picked out your favorite auto eye-candy yet?  The whole idea of a “concept car” fascinates me… slick looking ideas that get people all excited, only to be told they’ll never actually see that vehicle.

I started to get all huffy and offended, until I realized that the world I move in has its own version – the “concept Christian.”  Sleek and slick, shiny and sexy-for-Jesus. But it is only in concept showrooms. How to get it into “real production” remains a mystery. [click to continue…]








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Anxiety2

Found myself making a list the other day.  It was really helpful, and I suggest you do the same.  It’ll be good, clean fun. So grab that pen or loosen up those fingers and let’s brainstorm.

Ready?

Make a list of all the things you still don’t know.

Okay, from the sound of those crickets, I’m assuming that may be a bit too broad.  So hone in on one specific area.

The economy? That’s a good one.

Your kids of family?  Excellent.

Your work situation?  Awesome.

Regardless of the venue, when you allow your mind to focus on what you still don’t know because the future is uncertain, you’re giving yourself a heart-engraved invitation to be anxious in the purest sense of the word.  We experience anxiety whenever we are pulled in different directions.  That’s literally what the word means.  Anxiety certainly includes worry, but it isn’t limited to that.  Any emotional impasse can be classified as anxiety.

Recently I was reading the prayer of a really anxious man, and got a whole new perspective on what to do when I’m feeling anxious. [click to continue…]








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let_god_2

(A Conversation)

Quiet.

Quiet?

Yeah, quiet.  You ask how I am… I’m quiet.

In what way? Are you upset?

No.  I don’t think so. Just quiet.

Worse ways to be, I guess.

I suppose so.

And what brought you to this place of being so quiet?

I guess it all started with this sense of yearning – of longing for something more in my walk with the Lord.

That’s a good thing.

Sure, ‘til I realized what’s in the way.

Which is…? [click to continue…]








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